I’ve got to be honest: the writerly juices just haven’t been flowing into the valley of personal gratification lately. I’ve been spending so much time writing for others that I haven’t given more than a drop’s thought to my own creative streams.
I guess that is why I started the Postbox; to jam the wellhead in deeper even when all springs seem dry.
I’ve been venturing further into the wilds of freelance writing lately. I’ve submitted a few articles to magazines, have pumped up my profile on a plethora of content management and freelance-hook-up sites, and have been sticking my neck out there with personal proposals. To date, my freelancing career has come to me, rather than me having to hunt it down, and going on the offensive has come with a bit of a learning curve.
The verdict? As with everything else in my life, my forays into further writing-for-pay would do well to submit themselves to the scales of Priority and Balance. There have been some decent gigs. But there have also been many hours lost squinting after the elusive dollar, a bounty sometimes coming only in individual packets, doled out as it squeezed from a rock.
I have learned quite a bit already, though. There have been lessons in new areas of content writing, a more serious look at publishing some essays (a much-needed advance on the fronts of the writing career I want), and nice little adventures as a ‘writer on deadline.’ Most importantly I have learned what my time is worth, and what it is that I need to focus that time on.
Ultimately, my desire to make a little more dough on my writing has to play third fiddle. I am not willing to sacrifice my family (don’t ask them how that has gone so far), and I can see clearly that spending too much time ‘looking’ (and completing the dregs of the assignments) rips away the small chunks of time I have for my own writing. Time to wait out those perfect fits, let that patience take hold, and get back to the crux of the matter while I wait.
I will continue to seek work, but I know now that I need to be selective in my searching. There are 3.14 x 1023 jobs out there that I want nothing to do with, and a handful that I would be proud to be a part of. It is for those jobs that I will hunt, with whatever aggressiveness time permits. And I will focus some more of my energy on getting some essays out into the magazine market. Progress halted there a while back, and it’s time to grease those cogs.
It’s time to dust off the projects that have been orphaned, regain the routines that have nourished me, and nourish those around me in the ways that I can only muster when I am doing the work worth doing.
So today, the lesson of the Postbox is to beware the infra dig. Thesaurus.com just expanded my vocabulary, so I share that expansion with you.
Infra dig: beneath dignity. A place one’s writing should never be.
‘Til next time,